Misery loves company. We all know this. People warn us time and time again that we love when someone is taking advantage of us, not treating us the way we deserve to be treated — or that we’re being down right stupid. But if you’re anything like me, you want to prove these people wrong.
Now, that may not seem like an appropriate opening for a “love” story but, trust me, for this one it is. I’ve listened to the same radio station on the way to work for four years now. Call me a creature of habit but it’s entertaining and keeps my road rage to a minimum on my hellacious morning commute. The Bert Show (my favorite radio show!) has a segment they call “My Dating Antichrist.” This is that one person in your past that has caused you the most pain. The one that it physically hurts you to think about even if you can muster up the courage to still pretend like you’re mad instead of hurt. The following is the story of My Dating Antichrist…
As a single mother to a beautiful grade school girl it’s hard for me to meet men. It’s even more difficult when you don’t drink (more on that later). I can’t break the ice with liquid courage. Being the resourceful person that I am, I decided to fall for someone that I worked with. After all, it made total sense! I could work and see him without feeling guilty about leaving my child with a sitter to spend the limited amount of free time I had with someone else.
I went through a very traumatic event last summer that left me vulnerable and aching to fill the void that was in my heart. The DA filled that spot….sort of. You know the type…handsome, successful, proud and proficient in sarcasm (it was that which drew me to him in the first place). Things were going well for months until he dropped the first bomb.
“I just don’t have the energy for a relationship right now.”
What?! Excuse me? Is this not what we’ve been doing for the past 3 months? So being like any other self-respecting Southern Belle, I left. Only to be drawn back in a couple of months later with a half-assed apology and a few compliments. I let him meet my daughter. And we got back into our ritual of two date nights a week. These “dates” consisted of me driving over to his house, watching a movie, then me driving home. Fancy, huh?
Then came the second bomb.
“I don’t want to compliment you too much because then it won’t mean as much. That way when I do compliment you, you’ll know I really mean it.”
Anyone seeing a pattern here? Unfortunately, I still didn’t. I hung on and played his little game where he would feed me just enough to keep me hanging on then right when we were about to cross a threshold into what I thought was FINALLY going to be the relationship of my dreams, he’d shut me out again. Blaming it on one excuse or the other.
It took me eight months of dealing with this same “give a dog a bone” routine before I finally broke. I got off work that afternoon and cried the whole way home, crying to my best friend about how I could not have done anything more for him. Why didn’t he appreciate me? Why couldn’t he love me the way I wanted him to?
After crying my eyes for an hour — a full-blown Tasmanian devil of snot and tears AKA the ugly cry — I finally texted him and said we need to talk. The conversation lasted a whole minute. You read that right, ONE whole minute, before he yelled, “I just don’t have the f****** energy!” and hung up. That was it. A relationship that consumed my life for 2/3 of a year was over in less than a minute.
While this may still come off as me being somewhat upset or angry, let me reassure you that I am well on my way to healing. I should write my DA a sincere thank you note dripping with sarcasm and compliments that he kicked my way toward a guy that will actually love and appreciate me for the woman that I am. (Thanks, DA! I’m one step closer to the man of my dreams.)
If you can learn anything from my story let it be this…
1. You deserve to be complimented for the amazing, wonderful person you are. Everyone deserves to be told they’re beautiful, handsome, etc.
2. If he (or she) only takes you (or accepts an invitation) out to dinner ONCE in an eight month relationship…run! Run fast and don’t look back!
3. Don’t expect someone who can’t care about themselves to care about you.
The biggest lesson I learned from this whole experience, after sulking for weeks wondering what I had done wrong, was that I hadn’t done anything wrong. He was treating me the way he felt about himself. I couldn’t love him enough to change him.
It doesn’t work. If they don’t love themselves, they will never love you. Take it from me. Don’t waste time with your Dating Antichrist.